Women's clothing is a trial for me. And I don't even wear the stuff. How you ladies manage to put up with what strike me as complete absurdities without strangling every designer who ever held a pencil is beyond me.
Take pockets. Despite forty years or so of women's lib, most designers of women's clothing apparently continue to assume that their customers are going to carry a handbag. Even in clothing that would otherwise appear to assume that handbags might not be practical. When wearing a nice suit, a man could have as many as eleven pockets, with a probable minimum of five. A woman in a business suit might have two. Maybe. And they will be small. A party dress would have none. I'm sure many pixels have been slain and quite a bit of ink spilled over the whys and hows of this, so I'll skip that part and move on.
One of the items Trish was interested in for Mother's Day was a…I think it is called a camisole. This is another thing about women's clothing, that similar things often have vitally important name distinctions. Men have shirts, for example. They may be dress shirts, undershirts, t-shirts, muscle shirts, what-have-you, but they are all shirts. Women have shirts, but they also have blouses, camisoles and God knows what else.
Anyway, she had indicated this camisole-thing, and noted the size she wanted, medium. So, a couple of weeks before the big day, I went to the website of the catalog and ordered it. It arrived in due fashion, and was presented with the appropriate ceremony. Trish was pleased, and later went to try it on.
It was too big. Rather a lot too big. As she put, we could have both worn the shirt--er, camisole, at the same time. She checked the size. Medium, just as she had requested. Very odd. She checked again, then she knew what had happened. I had been caught by euphemism.
Y'see (women may skip this paragraph) fellas, sometimes women's clothing comes in groupings. Even I had heard of "petite" and "plus-size". Well, when ordering the camisole-shirt, I had to choose not only the size, but the grouping to which it belonged. My options were "misses" and "women's". Women who are still reading this are nodding their heads sagely. To me, "misses" calls to mind images of braces and Junior High. I therefore chose "women's". It turns out that these things mean not quite what they might appear to mean to the ill-informed, namely, me. "Misses" in this case means essentially "regular". "Womens" means -- big.
Luckily for me Trish is not the sort to read Dark Implications into these sorts of errors.